Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday cut India’s growth forecast for the year 2020 from 2.5% to 0.2% as the nation grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported. The agency also projected that all advanced economies of the G20 group would shrink by 5.8% during the year.
In its report titled “Global recession is deepening rapidly as restrictions exact high economic cost”, the credit rating agency said that India, China and Indonesia are the only three G20 countries that are likely to grow in the current financial year.
Moody’s has projected that India will grow at 6.2% in 2021. “India extended a nationwide lockdown to 40 days from 21 days, but relaxed restrictions in rural areas to facilitate agricultural harvesting in the second half of April,” the agency said in its report. “The country has determined that many of these areas are free of the virus. India also plans a phased opening of different regions while continuing to carry out identification and contract tracing.”
The agency warned that there will be significant downside risks to its growth forecasts if the coronavirus pandemic is not contained and lockdowns have to be reinstated.
Several other organisations have cut growth projections for India amid the nationwide lockdown. Last week, American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings’ company India Ratings and Research cut its growth forecast for India to 0.8% in the 2020-’21 financial year. Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund cut its growth projection for India to 1.9% from the earlier estimated 5.8% for the financial year 2020-’21.
In March, the Centre had introduced a Rs 1.7-lakh-crore stimulus package to help the poor tide over the impact of the countrywide lockdown.
The number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 29,974, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Covid-19 has killed 937 people in the country.